A 10-year-old black girl in Utah died by suicide after telling family members that she had been a victim of bullying at her school.
According to KUTV, Isabella “Izzy” Faith Tichenor reported being “belittled and bullied” at Foxboro Elementary School in North Salt Lake.
“As any parent would, we reported this abuse to her teachers, the school administration, and the district administration,” said mother Brittany Tichenor-Cox when speaking publicly earlier this week according to KUTV. “Nothing. Nothing was done to protect Izzy. Children did not have their behavior corrected so the torment of this child continued day after day.”
Izzy’s grandmother, Paula Harris also shared her sentiments in an effort to deter this tragedy from happening to other families in the future.
“We are going to be Izzy’s voice, we are going to ring this bell as loud as we can because we are going to stop this bullying, “ said Harris. “That little girl had spark, that little girl had hopes and dreams.”
Sadly, this is not the first time the Utah school district that Izzy’s school is a part of has been in the news for this behavior. In October, the Davis School District was placed under supervision from the Department of Justice after a two-year investigation found that the district was “deliberately indifferent” to reports of racial harassment toward some students.
The school district released a statement to KUTV following the death of Izzy.
“We, like everyone, are devastated by the death of this child. Our hearts go out to the family. Foxboro Elementary has worked extensively with the family and will continue to provide help to them and others impacted by this tragedy. We take all incidents and reports of bullying seriously. At this point, the incident we are aware of involved another student. The teacher and administration responded quickly and appropriately. As with all allegations of bullying, our investigation will continue.”
Tichenor-Cox said she had no indication that Izzy was suicidal. But Tichenor Cox and the family are taking it upon themselves to try to raise awareness about suicide amongst children and thwart bullying.
“I didn’t know she thought like that, I was so involved with her at school,” Tichenor-Cox added. “You don’t know what a child is going through mentally.”
If you would like to support, there has been a GoFundMe set up for Izzy’s family.
If you or someone you know feel hopeless or in crisis, resources are available. Call the national suicide prevention 24-hour lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.